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Fighting the Flying Circus


Published April 4, 2011


LibriVox recording of Fighting the Flying Circus, by Eddie Rickenbacker.

Read by Brett W. Downey.

This is the WWI memoirs of Medal of Honor winner, Capt Eddie Rickenbacker. He fought in and eventually became commander of the 94th "Hat-in-the-Ring" Squadron, which ended the war with the highest number of air victories of any American squadron. The circus mentioned in the title refers to the German squadron commanded by the famous Red Baron, Manfred von Richthofen. (Introduction by Brett W. Downey)

For further information, including links to online text, reader information, RSS feeds, CD cover or other formats (if available), please go to the LibriVox catalog page for this recording.

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Source Librivox recording of a public-domain text


Reviews

Reviewer: Timothy Ferguson - - October 3, 2013
Subject: Interesting memoir
This is a memoir of the commander of the “Hat in the Ring” Squadron, the most successful American squadron in the First World War. The author had a fortunate war, and his text reads a little like propaganda. He does occasionally say things critical of himself, and he broods a little on how callous he has become concerning the deaths of his friends, but generally it’s all a steady march toward victory, success and honor. This makes it less interesting that a similar book I listened to just afterward, called "High Adventure" by Hall.
Reviewer: lanternland - - May 24, 2013
Subject: Young pilots murdering each other
Pretty long. Dog fights and fun games in the sky in the early days of aviation in WW1. The loser dies. In future years it gets far worse.

Very excellent, professional sounding reader.

War is a racket.
Reviewer: NorfolkAJL - - April 27, 2013
Subject: Well written and read
There are some very fine readings on librivox but I think few better than this. Brett Downey tackles a long reading with great verve and pace.

The author is a good writer - though I'm not sure that I'd agree that he isn't jingoistic! However, if you want to know what being a fighter ace in WWI was like then this book (and the memoirs of Taffy Jones) are about as close as you will get.
Reviewer: TheBookworm - - April 22, 2013
Subject: Fighting the flying circus...
... is an exciting and important story of an era that will soon be beyond living memory.

I'll admit it: in my early 21st century arrogance, I was expecting to endure a full measure of jingoism and bravado along with the story of this "ace of aces". But there's little of that. Eddie Rickenbacker was 28 at the end of WWI and was the old man of his squadron. Nevertheless his writing shows great maturity and empathy with the enemy -- as well as the kind of callousness that combatants must develop to survive war. With little training and no parachutes or navigation equipment beyond a compass, these pioneering aviators endured terrible losses.

Many thanks for reading this important piece.

TheBookworm (Manchester, UK)
Reviewer: GonzoRanch - - January 19, 2013
Subject: EXCELLENT
Goofy title, but this is REALLY interesting, w/ an engaging & compelling writing style. It's very long, but NEVER gets boring or slow. The reader - it felt like he / she really was the author. Kudos Dude / Dudettes.
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